More than 30 years ago, a high school drama teacher named Kathy Brombacher had a meeting with the city of Vista’s parks director, who asked her to produce a couple of summer plays on a shoestring in the city’s amphitheater. That started a long tradition of plays and musicals in the city, and Brombacher’s been a city employee running the shows since the late 1980s.

She’ll retire after next summer’s season, she announced last week. We visited the recently revamped theater this week to talk with Brombacher about her career. Watch our story:

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For more on the city of Vista’s scaled-back financial relationship with the amphitheater, read this story from the Union-Tribune’s Aaron Burgin earlier this year. Here’s a snippet:

The city’s cultural budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year was $2.27 million, but revenues — mostly generated by ticket sales — lagged at $1.7 million. In most years, the city would backfill the difference with money from the city’s operating fund, but in the current economic crisis, officials are faced with tougher decisions, such as paying for the theater or a sheriff’s deputy, Mayor Judy Ritter said.

“No one wants to see us lose the Moonlight; it’s synonymous with our city,” said Ritter, a longtime season ticketholder and donor. “But in a recession, we have to make priorities, and residents have told us that public safety is a priority.”

The foundation that supports the theater philanthropically has pledged to help make up the difference.

I’m Kelly Bennett, the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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